The best "life-changing" books to give as gifts

My friend Tiffany asked this question to the interwebs:

"What is the best book you ever received as a gift or bought for yourself? Not a beach read, but one of those page turners that changed and/or improved your life."

And the interwebs responded, and I thought I'd slurp them all up and deliver this comprehensive list of life-changing books to give as gifts. I'll go first…

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The best combined birthday and holiday/anniversary gifts

The thing about combined birthday gifts is this: They better be fucking awesome and super-symbolic. Because you're not just saying one thing, you're saying a lot of things at once. So here are my favorite symbolic gifts that'll work for combined birthdays and holidays, or anniversaries, or just general gift-inspiration awesomeness!

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What unexpected things did you want when you were new parents?

I understand how useful those are (I intend to help buy a duffle bag and stuff it full of diapers!) but I wanted to know if there were any items or helpful suggestions that would be useful for me to give or do for new parents. What "strange" or "unusual" items will be useful for the new parents? What unexpected items did you not have that you wish you did have when you were new parents?